Thursday, June 20, 2013

Toy Car Roads

I did Boom Town again with the entire first grade, but this year we did it on the floor of the gym.  It was so BIG.  With 120 buildings and 120 houses, the kids had a ball.  They got to take their shoes off and walk through their town.  I purchased a huge lot of matchbox cars on ebay. I had a vehicle to match most of the kids' businesses.   For the past two years we had done this on table tops.  (Search blog for Boom Town). I had to cut out the kids in the above photo, so it is not the best shot of the event.

After everything was over, I always try to reinvent the wheel.  The teachers and I started coming up with the idea of each child having a poster board laminated mat the size of his desk.  One side would be used for the 125th day of school tea party.  The other side could already have the roads on it.  The kids could push their desks together to connect their roads to make their town.  But...the roads would have to be positioned just right to make a variety of layouts.

I started unfolding napkins on my kitchen table (see car pile on left). Then, I began to like the size of each napkin.  After covering empty smaller food boxes with my building patterns, I started thinking again.  What if.... I just used the box pattern I made last year and printed the buildings right from the pattern onto cardstock???

I cut out poster board in 11" x 11" squares.  I did this because printable cardstock comes in 8.5" x 11" sheets.  When you print there is an empty border of 1/4" all around. So, I was pretty close.  I used a  black brush sharpie to fill in the empty space to make the roads exactly 11".

 Here are my nephews playing the 11" x 11" squares I made on green poster board for them.  I laminated them with a roll of press on sheets that are not as sticky as contact paper and easy to use.  I got the rolls at Office Depot.  When I gave it to them the five year old said, "This is the BEST present ever."  The 2.6 year old said, "Varoom. Varoom."

 I used up an entire black cartridge trying to tweak the roads to be small enough to fit the smaller town, but wide enough for the small cars to fit them.  You may download my effort and print it out portrait.  Stretch it to fit the 8.5 x 11" cardstock.
  As you can see from the photo above, I made a cross right in the middle of the square.  That way, the t's form city squares.  BUT...wait... on the back of the poster board squares are just single roads.  The kids might want to have a long stretch of road going out to the country.  Then I worked really hard to get a curved piece.  This would also be glued to the back of one of the t road squares.  I put the connection in the middle.  A few of these placed together would give the kids more room in the suburbs.  

The advantage of making a bunch of these squares for your kids would be that they fit in a canvas tote bag.  I am going to laminate my set for my nephews.  Yes, I am spoiling them with their own set of cars to go with their town.  I will probably make their set on green poster board and add graphic bushes and trees.

Here is one of the buildings.   You can print it landscaped stretched to full paper size on CARDSTOCK.  The black bar is the roof. Fold along the horizontal edges of the roof. The vertical double lines are the side folding lines.  Make four cuts from each edge along the roof bar edge to the double vertical lines to create the two tabs for the box.  Then simply glue the two plain green boxes to the boxes with the bathroom doors.  You have a building.  


Made In The South said...

I read your comment over at Stone Gable's blog.. I am so sorry for the loss of your precious nephew. Know that even though I do not know you, I am praying for you and your family. What a sacrifice for you and your family that he gave his life so that we may live in a free country.
Huggs to you!

Teresa May said...

Made the gas station, hoping my car lover will enjoy adding it to his village. Would love the rest of the buildings!